Review by Mike
Hammons Field is the home of the Springfield Cardinals of the AA Texas League. In 2022, Mondays are off days across the affiliated minor leagues, but the nice folks in Springfield arranged for me to tour their beautiful ballpark regardless. The affiliation with the big club in St. Louis is everywhere, right down the to lobby of the club offices, where Cardinal logos, bobbleheads and photographs adorn every surface. The stadium seats in the waiting area are a nice detail. And that’s really what makes Hammons Field special, the details.
For starters, this does not look like a AA ballpark. It is big without sacrificing intimacy and the uninitiated would surely think this is a Triple-A operation. The grand entrance behind home plate welcomes you into a stadium with a large lower bowl, notable for the fact that there is no cross-aisle midway down to distract people with an endless flow of wandering foot traffic and unsecured children.
The upper level has suites down the right field line and behind the plate. The door of each suite is adorned with a tribute to a Cardinal great that shares the number of the suite. Left field features the “Redbird Roost”, a stretch of traditional 2nd level seating with an accompanying bar and lounge area behind the top row. These are surely the best seats in the house, with a great view of the field and a roof to protect fans from the hot midwestern sun.
There is a large, electronic scoreboard, as one would expect, but there is also a smaller, manually operated scoreboard behind the left field fence that shows the inning-by-inning score of the St. Louis Cardinals game, as well as the current scores of all major league games for that day. Cardinals World Series banners sit atop the scoreboard. The sense that this minor league team is fully connected to “The Show” is palpable.
The steelwork under the upper level is intricate and interesting, just another of the many details that add to the “big league” feel of the stadium. There are grassy berms along 3rd base near the foul pole and in left field beyond the fence. You can’t walk all the way around the field, but you can get as far as centerfield if you like that view. Looking back at this impressive stadium, with its total immersion in all things Cardinal, my only question would be, why are the seats not red?
There are big, soft sofas and armchairs around the top of the lower seating bowl and a section down the right field line called “The Cheap Seats” that features Adirondack and Lawn chairs instead of fixed stadium seating. I had heard that the Cardinals organization does everything first class, and if Hammons Field is any indication, I can believe it’s true. Thanks to Kimberly and the Cardinals staff for your hospitality on a rainy Monday morning.